Thursday, April 16, 2015

Vodka Apricotini (a/k/a “Mine!”)

This was a fun challenge. I had a lot of fun making it and my husband had a lot of fun drinking it. But, I think the funniest part of this challenge was the day I prepared the cocktail for a photograph. From the outset, I had decided that no matter what I was going to use the two funky martini glass (pictured here) that I won at a fundraiser in January this year. I filled one of the glasses and walked it out to the garage to show my husband and to give him a sip. I asked him what I should call it and he promptly said “Mine!” Ultimately, I landed on Apricotini. But that wasn’t the funny part. I left him with the drink, went back inside and made another one to photograph. Picture taken, I drank it. Only trouble was I ended up wearing most of it. I could have sworn I aimed for my mouth. I mean, I’ve been eating and drinking things my whole life. Why, all of the sudden, can I not get the edge of the glass to my mouth? I made another cocktail and it happened again! Seriously? What was wrong with me? Just then, my husband came back into the house…with cocktail down the front of his shirt! We decided that the funky shaped martini glasses were the problem. That’s our story and we’re sticking with it!

Vodka Apricotini (a/k/a “Mine!”)
by Maryjo

1 cup of ice
1 Tablespoon apricot puree (recipe below)
1 Tablespoon flavored simple syrup (recipe below)
1 1/2 ounces of your favorite traditional Vodka (right now, my fav is Ivanabitch)
1/2 teaspoon lime juice

Shake all of the above ingredients in a cocktail shaker until well blended. Strain into your favorite martini glass and enjoy!

Apricot Puree
by Maryjo

20 dried apricots
2 cups water
2-inch knob of fresh ginger, sliced into 1/4” pieces
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Place the dried apricots in a small sauce pan, cover with 2 cups of water, the sliced ginger, and the cardamom. Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Drain the liquid from the apricots and ginger into a bowl to be used in the simple syrup. Pick out and discard the ginger. Put the now plump apricots into a blender with about 1/4 cup of the drained liquid. Blend until it is a smooth puree. Press the puree through a fine mesh strainer to be sure all of the lumps are out. You’ll be left with about 1 Tablespoon of pulpy (is that a word?) stuff in the strainer that should be discarded. You've made a beautiful, bright orange colored apricot puree with a hint of ginger and cardamom. This recipe will make about 1/2 cup of puree, or between 6 and 8 Apricotinis.

Ginger/Cardamom Flavored Simple Syrup
by Maryjo

Using the liquid from the puree above, filter the remaining apricot and ginger liquid through a coffee filter to remove the gritty ground cardamom. Discard the cardamom. Now it’s time to make a simple syrup with 1/2 cup of the filtered liquid and 1 cup of white sugar (if you don’t have enough filtered liquid, just top it off with water until it measures 1/2 cup.) If you've never made a simple syrup before it’s super “simple”! In a small sauce pan, add the 1/2 cup of liquid and 1 cup of sugar. Over medium high heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Just be careful not to boil the mixture (it’ll mess with the sugar to water ratio.) Remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Voila! Sweet, sticky goodness.

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